Dementia is the general terminology that is used to define cognitive decline, the loss of memory; thinking abilities and problem-solving, language difficulty; and decision-making skills that are severe enough to interfere with the normal life of the one suffering from it. It is commonly seen and greatly affected in older adults, but younger adults too are not secured in acquiring it.
As it can be destructive in conducting a perfect and normal living; behaviors and in fostering relationships with other people; that does not mean that people suffering from it cannot lead a healthy; and seemingly good and normal life. Today, we are going to tackle lifestyle changes to incorporate in those who suffer from Dementia; because clearly no matter how scary, destructive, and fearful acquiring it may seem, there are still ways to navigate it in a healthy; and significantly beneficial manner. Let us start.
Lifestyle Changes for Physical Health
Engage in some form of physical activity, everyday
Physical activity does wonders in our holistic health, whether we are with Dementia or not. It is a great aid to keeping a fit lifestyle, and a stable, happy mind. It helps in keeping our sleeping schedule intact and healthy while caring for; and aiding our digestive, reproductive, nervous, skeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Clearly, its benefits and wonders do not stop.
So how will it benefit Dementia? Research shows strong evidence that engaging in physical activity will progressively decline and can delay impaired cognitive abilities; as it helps with our brain health, it will also help you to cope with stress and anxiety Dementia might give you; as well as reduce the risk of you falling.
To get started, it is always a great first step to consult your physician in asking for a great exercise or sports routine.
Eat a healthy balanced diet
We hear this all the time, a healthy balanced diet is a key to the cliche, healthy life; and yes, it is really true.
As you battle with Dementia, eating a heart-healthy diet such as the Mediterranean Diet protects and aids with brain health. Thus, you can start incorporating red meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, nuts; and healthy fats such as olive oil. Not only does it taste good, but will significantly improve the symptoms of Dementia.
Prioritize your sleep hygiene
Sleep is really essential for healthy living, and yes, it is another cliche and it should be abided by; whether you have Dementia or not.
Getting enough and quality sleep will significantly improve and preserve your brain health; it will help you manage symptoms of Dementia and will help in making your everyday routine in sync and full of energy as it breeds predictability; consistency and routines.
Also, minimize napping as it can lead to the day and night being unrecognizable, thus, destructive.
Lifestyle Changes for Psychological Health
Accepting your condition
Resenting having Dementia will only worsen your already hard life, what can you do is accept it and focus on adding healthy habits and coping mechanisms, because clearly; Dementia can be managed and won over. Always be compassionate with yourself, manage your emotions, focus on what you can control; and be disciplined and optimistic in approaching it moving forward. Do not resent yourself, as Dementia is not your fault; and it does not make you any less of a person.
Have a great support system
Talking about your condition to your spouse, children, family, caregiver, physician, pastor; or counselor can give you a different perspective, uplifting words that can be helpful as you readjust; and cope with your condition. Talking also about the difficult feelings you are experiencing can help you deal and resolve it, do not self-isolate and self-loath; as support and help are very accessible and helpful.
Engage in brain games, stimulation activities
To keep those brain neurons and synapses working effectively, you need not to keep only your body active and working; but your brain as well. Brain games such as chess, cards, puzzles as well as trying to learn musical instruments; reading a book, learning a new language will aid in maintaining brain health and effective functioning it. Moreover, it helps in managing the symptoms of Dementia.
General Healthful Advices
- Quit smoking, alcohol and any form of destructive habits and behaviors.
- Avoid being in an unhealthy weight/obesity
- Establish a realistic daily routines, maintain having a set schedule
- Take your time doing tasks, allot more time than usual
- Look after your heart health. Maintain a regular level of blood pressure, cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels.
- Listen to your body, as you start to feel tired, give yourself rest, as you feel stressed and overwhelmed, take a step back.
- Do more of what you love doing. Engage with your hobbies, whether it’s reading books, gardening, listening to music, knitting. It is helpful and joyful.
- Make more meaningful adventures. Travel, try something new, make new friends, try new foods and many more. Always move forward, and have something worth looking forward to, positively
- Always take your medications at the schedule it entails, avoid disrupting and skipping it
- Make sure to consult your physician regularly, take control over your condition
Having Dementia does not mean living a resentful, overly sad, discontent, and unfulfilled life. With helpful, and healthful lifestyle changes listed above, Dementia is guaranteed to be mitigated, managed, and won over. These, plus a great regular treatment plan and physician consultations will surely set you up for a healthy, fulfilled, and lively life, that Dementia would not interfere as severely as before.